Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) is the hope not only for Muslims but for all oppressed
human beings who suffer slavery, oppression, and subjection. He is the Savior
who will free the will of man and save peoples and nations from the oppression
of the corruptive regimes who have turned this world into unbearable hell.
Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.) was and is a great miracle in Islam. Allah concealed his
birth, as he had concealed the birth of Prophet Moses (a.s.), because the
Abbasid government looked for him…and in his remaining alive (in occultation)
throughout the long stages of life is also a miracle for Islam, and in his
reappearance and announcing the pure principles of Islam is another miracle too.
The following are some of the traditions transmitted from Imam Abu Mohammad al-Hasan
al-Askari (a.s.) concerning the Imamate of his son al-Mahdi (a.s.).
1. Ahmad bin Isaaq bin Sa’eed al-Ash’ari said, “Once, I went to Abu Mohammad al-Hasan
bin Ali (a.s.) intending to ask him about the successor after him. He said to me
before I asked him, ‘O Ahmad bin Isaaq, Allah the Almighty did not deprive the
earth since He created Adam and He does not deprive it until the Day of
Resurrection of an authority over His people. By him (the authority) distresses
are pushed away from the people of the earth, by him rain falls down, and by him
the blessings of the earth are emitted.’
I said to him, ‘O son of the messenger of Allah, who is the imam and successor
after you?’ He got up hastily and went in the house. Then, he came out holding a
three-year-old boy, whose face was like a full moon, on his shoulder and said,
‘O Ahmad, were it not for your honor near Allah the Almighty and near His
authorities, I would not show you my this son. He was named and surnamed like
the messenger of Allah (a.s.).
He will fill the earth with justice and fairness after it has been filled with
injustice and oppression. O Ahmad, he, in this nation, is like al-Khidhr
(Elijah) and Thul Qarnayn. By Allah, he will hide in an occultation, during
which no one shall be saved except one whom Allah fixes on the believing in his
imamate and supplicating Allah to hasten his deliverance.’ I said, ‘Is there any
sign so that I may be sure?’ The young boy said, ‘I am the representative of
Allah in His earth and the avenger on His enemies. Do not look for a sign after
I left delightedly. On the following day, I came back to him and said, ‘O son of
the messenger of Allah, my delight was so great for what you favored me with.
Would you please tell me what norm with al-Khidr and Thul Qarnayn was?’
He said, ‘Long occultation.’
I said, ‘O son of the messenger of Allah, shall his (Imam al-Mahdi’s)
occultation last long?’
Imam Abu Mohammad (a.s.) said, ‘Yes, by my Lord, until many of those, who
believe in this matter (occultation and reappearance), shall apostatize, and no
one shall remain (believing) except those whom Allah has taken from them a
covenant on our guardianship, fixed faith in their hearts, and supported them
with a mercy from Him. O Ahmad, this is a command from Allah, a secret from the
secrets of Allah, and an unseen matter from the unseen of Allah. Take what I
told you, and be from the grateful, you shall be with us in Illiyin.1”2
2. Mohammad bin Uthman al-Umari narrated that his father said, “Once, I was with
Abu Mohammad al-Hasan bin Ali (al-Askari) when he was asked about the tradition
transmitted from his father that the earth would not be empty from an authority
from Allah over His people until the Day of Resurrection, and that whoever died
without knowing the imam of his age would die as an unbeliever. He said, ‘This
is true as day is true.’
Someone asked him, ‘O son of the messenger of Allah, then, who shall be the
authority and imam after you?’
He said, ‘My son Mohammad is the imam and the authority after me. Whoever
dies without knowing (acknowledging) him shall dies as an unbeliever. He will be
in an occultation where the ignorant will be confused, deniers will perish, and
daters3 will tell lies. Then, he will reappear, and as if I see white
flags fluttering over his head at the hill of Kufa.’”4
3. Imam Abu Mohammad (a.s.) said, ‘Praise be to Allah Who did not take me out
of this life until He made me see the successor after me. He is the most similar
in shape and morals to the messenger of Allah (a.s.). Allah will protect him in
his occultation and make him reappear to fill the earth with justice and
fairness after it will be filled with injustice and oppression.’5
4. Musa bin Ja’far al-Baghdadi narrated that he had heard Imam Abu Mohammad al-Hasan
bin Ali al-Askari (a.s.) saying, ‘As if I see that you will disagree after me
on my successor.
Surely, he, who believes in the imams after the messenger of Allah (a.s.) but
denies my son, is like one, who believes in all prophets and messengers of Allah
but denies the prophethood of the messenger of Allah (Mohammad) (a.s.), because
the obedience of the last of us is like the obedience of the first of us, and
one, who denies the last of us, is like one who denies the first of us. My son
will have an occultation where people will be in doubt about it except those
whom Allah preserves.’6
* Taken from : The Life Of Imam Al-Hasan Al-Askari Study And
Analysis By: Baqir Shareef al-Qurashi Translation by: Abdullah al-Shahin
1- Illiyin is
the highest position in the Paradise.
2- Ikmaluddeen by Sheikh as-Saduq, p.216-217.
3- Those who defines certain dates for the reappearance of the awaited imam (a.s.).
4- Kifayat al-Athar.
5- Kifayat al-Athar, Ikmaluddeen, p.228.
6- Kifayat al-Athar.